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An unprecedented number of hooks on trial technique were published this past year. Professor Keeton's Trial Tactics and Methods is the best of this mediocre lot, and ranks among the superior works in this general field, along with Busch, Law and Tactics in Jury Trials (1949), the Trial Practice Series of monographs published by the Practicing Law Institute (1946), and Goldstein, Trial Technique (1935).
The coverage in Trial Tactics and Methods is broader and more detailed than that of most books on the subject, although there is the usual over-emphasis on automobile negligence problems and the usual neglect of problems peculiar to such important litigation areas as crimes, child custody, divorce, collection of small debts, foreclosures, and suits to quiet title. Keeton thoroughly discusses the ordinary steps in a trial from selection of a jury to closing argument, and then has lengthy chapters on Preparation for Trial, Pleadings, and Proceedings Before Trial. There are also separate chapters on The Non-Jury Case and What Makes a Trial Lawyer Effective. The book is not a digest or even a manual of formal legal doctrine. Only a few rules of court and appellate decisions are cited; and when authorities are given for statements about the law, they are usually sections of Wigmore or American Jurisprudence. The book is primarily concerned with practices for most effectively preparing and trying law suits within the framework of the law.
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